Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 390

Last Wednesday prompt before April’s poem-a-day challenge. Hope to see y’all here bright and early each day beginning on Saturday morning.

For today’s prompt, pick a music genre, make that the title of your poem, and then write a poem. So your poem could be titled “Jazz;” “Baby, I got the blues;” “Heavy Metal Heartache;” “Rockabilly Rumble;” or whatever else you can devise. Have fun with it and see you on Saturday!


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Here’s my attempt at a Music Genre Poem:

“i love pop”

sweet as soda
with a beat that drops
baby i love
listening to pop

whether 80s
disco or dubstep
something ’bout it
gives my life more pep


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). And he loves all genres of music: hip hop, rap, metal, modern rock, rockabilly, alternative, various forms of electronica, classic country, classical, blues, bluegrass, and so many other genres, including pop music.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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142 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 390

  1. pipersfancy

    Scotch with Soul
    *based on the real life jazz musician, Rufus Harley

    Rufus Harley? Now, there was one cool cat!
    He was the MAN with the music.
    Women, when seeing that cocked hat
    take the stage would SWOON as though sick,
    and when he played—Ahh! The sounds he made!
    That black jazz man extraordinaire—
    no one could deny his sound swayed
    like a kilt at a Scottish fair!

    Now, hold on! What did you just say?
    About a black jazz man, and kilts a’sway?

    Well—with jazz musicians, there’s all type.
    Rufus marched to a different beat
    and played the Great Highland Bagpipe.
    Picked up his first set on the street
    after scouring New York’s pawn shops.
    Learning to play was a self-taught feat.
    Though his neighbours often called the cops
    he kept right on skirling in his suite
    and when they showed, his words rang true:

    “Officer, you jiving me, man?
    Now, do I LOOK Scottish to you?”
    (His pipes were shoved behind the divan)

    He played ’em loud, he played ’em strong!
    That Afro-wearing Scots Wha’ Hae
    to Clan MacLeod he did belong.
    Although unorthodox his style of play,
    it didn’t take him long—and soon he learns
    to play the blues, some funk and jazz
    (all in tribute, ‘course, to Robert Burns.)

    It was such a shame he had to die
    but (as all good Scots before him went)
    he plays a ceilidh in the sky
    while back here sing his lament.

    Christina Perry

  2. Nancy Posey

    Teetotalers Blues

    You told me “Pack your bags and go,”
    without a word of warning. I don’t how
    how a rainy Friday could get much worse.
    I might say “Shit” but I don’t curse.

    I threw my bags into the car,
    stopped off to buy back my guitar.
    I found a lock on the pawnshop door.
    I don’t think that I can take much more.

    You’re leaving me for someone new,
    I’d like to take you down a notch or two,
    but you don’t care for what I think.
    I’d get drunk, but I don’t drink.

    I don’t drink, don’t cuss, and I don’t chew
    and I don’t go with the boys that do.
    That’s why you left me in a lurch
    with a broken heart I can’t heal in church.

    I’m sitting here with a heart that’s broke
    Don’t get much help from a Diet Coke.
    My sugar soars as my spirit sinks.
    I’d get drunk but I don’t drink.

  3. hannahmarie

    Same old song

    And dance
    A tune of moody melodies
    Can’t skip a beat
    This rhythm raining bass and blues

    Wish wash of sprinkled sound
    Spat against my smothered skin
    Enough with the notes and the noise
    And the joys and the rest of the week

    All the days string the same old song
    They’ll ask me to dance

    1. ppfautsch24

      Rhythm and Hues
      My heart pumps
      to a thumping beat
      when we meet
      of the minds
      of your rhythm and rhymes.
      My spirit asking for a dance
      to a bumping old school beat
      with a young vibe.
      Your rhythm and hues
      color me good and rocks
      me to sleep.
      By Pamelap

  4. Jane Shlensky


    Like a surge, like a splurge,
    feel the zap, feel the urge
    of the movingest sound
    coursing free, spinning ‘round.
    You can only dance free
    when you’re jazzed on a spree
    when each instrument croons
    like a wolf at the moon.
    If you find you can’t move,
    cannot find the right groove,
    if you stand with a frown
    as the sound is laid down,
    just go home, crawl in bed
    stuff the sheets round your head,
    ’cause you ain’t got no soul
    if sweet jazz leaves you cold.

    1. Bushkill

      True. Just take a listen and let it roll, stumbling, starting over, and in fits as the tempo jives to its own rhythm. Close your eyes and hear the song sung by brass and keyboard and sax. Great piece of remembrance, Jane.

  5. April_H

    Roots Music

    There’s probably a ragtime hymn to April.
    She’d come in sly–a tortoise-colored cat
    behind the ice man. Hen in the pea patch
    scratching on the washboard, ridge and gully
    jug band fare. Bless my heart: I am trying
    to untangle my roots, but there’s no path
    that meanders from show tunes through Apple
    picks, nourishes with do-wop, defiant
    folk, a waltz. Swing me, my pockets are full.

  6. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Film Noir Blues
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I’ve got a case of the Film Noir Blues,
    the kind that reeks high heaven
    of missing funds and two-timing lovers
    and eye candy broads with IQ’s the size
    of a pair of red pouty lips,
    smelling of nothing but trouble.

    I bet I can guess the nature of her dilemma
    by the first act of the crime jazz crescendo,
    a red dress slit up to her cello waist
    blind slat shadows across her face, and
    a film title sash like “Hit & Run Chicago Blues”
    or “Kiss Me Deadly, Sam.”

    A fist fight or two, midway through the act
    followed by a little smoke in the face shot,
    fedoras and mink stoles, and
    rotary phones and Miles Davis,
    mysterious shadow figures in doorways
    with a suitcase of money,
    and by the end of the song,
    a scarred glass of Bourbon in a
    Bogart or Newman kind of way.

    Yep, I’ve got a case of the Film Noir Blues.

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    (a tongue-in-cheek nod to the bluesy-jazz music written specifically for the clichés Detective crime dramas of the Film Noir genre, 1940’s through 1960’s).

    1. pipersfancy

      Yes. I tried for a couple of hours last night, and then again this morning. My comments are posting, but not the poem. Logged off and back on, tried cut/paste as well as typing the entire poem into the comment box. Nothing seems to work!

      I’ve emailed Robert but not heard back. Perhaps you could also give him a shout?

    2. PressOn

      This is from Robert’s prompt 389:

      I know some people have been having trouble posting comments to the site. If you have (even if you’ve contacted me before), please contact me again at with information about what happens when it doesn’t work for you, how many times it can take before a comment finally takes (if it even takes), and what browser you use. There’s a new reporting system, and I want to get this issue front and center, but I need your help to make this happen.

      1. pipersfancy

        Thanks PressOn.
        As I mentioned to you in my earlier post, I’ve already emailed Robert—twice, actually—and am waiting to hear back.
        I’m sorry if my post expressing frustration takes away from the poems here, but I really want this to reach Robert’s attention so that it can (hopefully!) be attended to before PAD begins on Saturday.

  7. JRSimmang


    The tempo began a simple slight,
    gently stirring the colors of the crowd.
    Eyes closed and baited, they delight.

    The children, who are often quite contrite,
    tapped their toes, and as they sang aloud
    the tempo began a simple slight.

    The sun, a reminder of the day’s soft light,
    grew a more brilliant gold- light’s warm shroud.
    Eyes closed and baited, they delight

    In the octave leap and the heart’s respite.
    Although the violin’s tears make the player proud,
    the tempo began a simple slight

    And bellowed now, a cello’s rapid flight,
    tuned up and down, bursting clouds-
    Eyes closed and baited, they delight

    In feeling breathless, feeling wondrously bright,
    to be compelled to freedom is completely allowed.
    The tempo began a simple slight;
    Eyes closed and baited, they delight.

    -JR Simmang

  8. Bushkill

    A Song by any other name would sound …

    As songbirds go with measured wing beats
    And sun beams dance off windows and streets

    Where wind whistles gently kissing your cheek
    And jitterbugs jitter on lazy winding streams

    Where laughter ripples and children play freely
    And morning meets day happy and gaily

    When a song in your heart taps a tune merry and sweet
    Why care if its rap, rock, classic, or any other beat?

  9. grcran


    sweet violins rise then they fall
    crescendo, sweep grandly, go small
    strings sound as a river
    the pitch arrows quiver
    and point to the belle of the ball

    gpr crane

  10. Tracy Davidson

    Rap with a capital C

    listening to rap…
    trying not to wince in pain
    or appear uncool
    but it’s not music, just noise
    with lyrics that make no sense

    1. PressOn

      I agree. My deafness (somewhat corrected with hearing assistance) probably accounts for some of that, but it sure sounds like nonsensical noise to me.

  11. lsteadly

    I’ve been away from this poetry community for much too long and haven’t even written anything new for months, due to dealing with my father’s illness and his life in the ICU since January. Man, oh man, it’s good to be back!

  12. lsteadly

    I Will Rock You
    ( with a big nod to Queen)

    Baby you’re a child runnin’ so wild
    Playin’ in the woods gonna be a strong man some day
    You got a big part
    Right from the start
    With me wrapped up all over your heart

    Singin’ I will, I will rock you
    Singin’ I will, I will rock you

    Baby you’re a young man fine man
    Trainin’ in the corps gonna fight for justice one day
    No need to run
    From all that you’ve done
    With me right there declaring you’ve won

    Singin’ I will, I will rock you
    Singin’ I will, I will rock you

    Baby you’re an old man tired man
    Wishing you could wipe all those sad scenes away
    You’ve seen blood on the street
    Tasted defeat
    With me left praying you’ll get back on you feet

    Singin’ I will, I will rock you
    Singin’ I will, I will rock you

    Rocka bye
    Rocka bye

    1. seingraham

      I’m sure this is the arena rock song for many teams – it brings me back to the Edmonton Oilers’ heyday – the 80’s when Gretzky was King and the cup lived here – this one and “We Are the Champions” imbued our days. Thanks for the trip back … well done.

  13. seingraham


    Well, Leonard – what genre could contain your sound?
    Right up until the end when you dropped “You Want It Darker”
    with the soft but distinctive aboriginal chanting refrain,
    You were defying us to slot you in anywhere

    Some said you shouldn’t have sung at all; your voice wasn’t
    suited to it, but most of us knew – gravelly or not – you got
    better, more melodious as you aged – and the poems,
    they were always good, but they got better too

    So, Mr C – some days I find you bluesy and others you’re
    a folk-hero, but always you sing from your heart and soul
    And anthems – “Hallelujah” – probably Canada’s most covered
    song – is an anthem, so is “Democracy” so suited to now

    I miss you Leonard Cohen with your talent and your kindness
    And your clever way with words and growly voice
    I guess if you had a genre maybe it was poet-singer
    After all, you went your own way, you should have a choice.

  14. pipersfancy

    I’ve been trying for over an hour to post my poem, and it simply won’t show up. Why do my comments show, but the poem does not? Any suggestions greatly appreciated! I’ve emailed Robert, but maybe someone out there has a solution?


      1. pipersfancy

        Day 2 of frustration! I had already emailed Robert when you made the suggestion (Thanks, by the way!) and now I’m waiting to hear back. I am so confused as to why a posted COMMENT shows up, but not a poem! I’m anxious because I’ve been looking forward to PAD, and with Robert using feedback and comments from the blog to help choose the final poems this round… well, it’s important to me that this issue be straightened out! I want my poems seen!

  15. Uma

    Classical Paean

    Each pure, plaintive note
    sought me out
    to put its finger
    on every aching nerve

    my sorrow sighed
    on the strings of the violin
    my joy skipped
    on the keys of the piano
    my anger stirred
    by crashing cymbals

    every emotion within
    wrung out and condensed
    into soaring and falling strains

    And my heart wept
    to behold such pain
    while my eyes smiled
    at the sight of such beauty

  16. Corinne


    You typically sang lead
    Even with that distinctive tenor and I could always pick your voice out of the four part harmony.

    Barbershop was just part of our family life
    As was singing overall,
    The only way we really all harmonized
    And the one place we strove to do our best for the whole.
    The rest of the time was vying and plotting and punishing.

    All I craved was your approval, moth to flame
    And the more I grovelled after it, the more pleasure you took from withholding.

    I mostly only married him because I thought you would approve of him:
    He had a degree, was well-read, played bridge.
    The demise of that marriage became the
    Ironic catalyst to our friendship.
    You confessed to setting me up for that treatment stepped up and into Papa Bear.
    You shouldered my burdens.
    And only then did you say you never liked him.

    Thus began 15 years of us befriending each other in astonishment and awe, so tenderly.
    Such gratitude over the beauty of the contrast
    Between the two eras of our lives
    Connected by an exquisite silken thread:

    Recently I finally threw out all the wedding pictures
    Except the one where the barbershop quartet arrived
    And I was so richly rewarded by the look of surprise and joy on your aging face.
    That one I will keep forever.

    And even though you’ve been dead for over two years
    in the cacophany of vlife’s voices and opinions
    I easily pick out your voice in the lead
    That distinctive tenor,
    Guiding me,
    Upholding me, still.

  17. trishwrites

    Saying goodbye with the oldies

    We played your favorites
    as the last light faded

    They said you weren’t with us anymore
    But we knew you heard

    Because every so often a small smile
    broke across your translucent skin

    There in the dim light
    The five of us gathered
    With our play lists

    An ode to you, Mom

    We sang, we may even have danced
    you into the next life

  18. Connie Peters

    Punk Rock

    I couldn’t say I’ve ever listened to punk rock.
    So for this poem, I googled it.
    As I listened to it I remembered
    driving by a band that was playing
    in an empty lot in town.
    And I thought, they’re young, maybe
    they’ll learn to sing and play
    if they keep practicing. I didn’t know
    they were supposed to sound like that.
    But some on YouTube didn’t sound too bad.
    Others sounded like they were vomiting
    out the lyrics or they were playing
    boogie men and trying to frighten
    small children. Some of their hairdos
    reminded me of my sister’s old black wig
    we used to wear on Halloween. Some
    of them looked cool. None were smiling.
    Some of the music sounded like what
    we used to call hard rock. I couldn’t tell
    what made punk rock punk rock.
    So I looked it up on Wikipedia.

  19. Sara McNulty


    She took my dog
    She took my cat
    How you like that?

    She hocked my ring
    Said, “Y’all can’t sing”
    How you like that?

    She took my car,
    I’m stranded far
    Away with my guitar.
    Now I’m playing blues in bars.
    Tell me how you like that.

  20. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    From out of the hollers and hills,
    Comes music that shivers and chills;
    That high, lonesome sound,
    Can only be found,
    On this ground
    Where tears spill.

  21. Anthony94

    Sunday Morning Organ

    The sanctuaries are tiny
    so you dial back the sound
    no rafter shaking here
    stops set with care
    an ear to the melody
    for old but ardent voices.

    Old chords tremble
    from the pedals and
    words swell with notes
    borrowed from memory
    more than hymnals.

    Like stump preachers
    traveling from town to town
    lifting song competes with
    birds nesting above the gutter
    chirping from dandelioned lawns
    until that final crescendo when
    everyone exits downstairs to
    the ladies brunch, last notes
    echoes now, packed up, moving on.

  22. seamuscorleone

    Country Can

    Country can be pretentious
    And pandering, poppy and
    Unoriginal. It can
    Wear clean boots and
    Have highlights in its
    Perfect hair. It can
    Twang out “I love
    America” without including
    Much of America in
    What it loves.

    However, country can also be
    Art. It can be heartfelt and
    Rugged. It can
    Wear the same jeans a week in a row and
    Let the grey its hair show. It can
    Speak from its soul, saying “I am
    Tired and broke and
    Heartbroken but
    I am still here doing what I can,” and
    Who can’t relate to that?

  23. headintheclouds87

    Rock the Blues Away

    After a tense and trying day
    Full of tinny and irritating noise
    Gnawing at the back of my head,
    I like to blast out my own sound –
    Screaming guitars and growling words
    That put the world to rights
    And channel a concealed anger
    That can at last be unleashed
    In the coming storm of defiance
    That deafens the madding crowd –
    Their nonsense no longer heard
    Within my wall made of wonder
    Where a rocking return to the primal
    Is the purest form of therapy.

  24. Misky

    A Blues Fate

    Is but a name.
    It lays in sheets
    Across horizons as

    A scar,
    A stretch,
    For ships,
    For sails.

    It’s heard and felt
    In a gull’s cry.
    Blue is this loud morning
    Carried toward its fate.

  25. candy


    rain drops splashing
    outside my bedroom window
    gentle swish of tires across
    wet pavement
    your steady breathing
    beside me in the dark
    and me
    drifting off to sleep
    to the rhythm of a summer lullaby

  26. AsWritten

    RAP-TURE by Ken Bentz

    A shark snakes by
    shore, causing those who remain to scurry.
    A life-guard raises a red flag,
    indicating that only the bravest
    (or most foolish) should stay.
    The whir of the frisbee
    distracts me from the fact
    that I may never be saved.

  27. ReathaThomasOakley

    I dig rock and roll music

    Don, light of my declining years,
    I must confess, while your humor,
    your smile contributed to my saying ‘yes’,
    it was that black and white poster
    of you and your band, in suits,
    with guitars, ready to perform,
    that so turned me on I just couldn’t
    resist becoming the wife of
    the D of D and the Sabers fame.

  28. deringer1


    We say the USA’s a melting pot,
    a cultural mish-mash from everywere.
    But where’s our own, our native contribution?
    What else but jazz! From Torme to McCrae
    the world embraced it; they love the Duke,
    they swing to Vaughn and Satchmo and Fitzgerald;
    they chill to Petersen and Davis too.

    There’s a form of jazz for every mood.
    It peps you up or winds you down. It’s cool !

  29. De Jackson

    a mishmash of blues

    indigo done left me
    again, stranded on shifting sands.
    the world’s gone
    all gray tones
    sifted through empty hands.

    turquoise beat has
    done me wrong, imprinted on my heart.
    midnight’s spilled
    her way to
    abandoned us from the start.

    cobalt’s steeled her
    -self in stone, imagined herself an ocean.
    we’re steeped in
    blues and
    for the moon to call us home.


  30. SarahLeaSales

    To ABBA (an apostrophe poem)

    You were a break from my childhood
    of George Jones and Tammy Wynette,
    from the punk rock
    my brother would bang out while I tried to study,
    a break from the world,
    my world,
    my thoughts.

    You were what candy-colored dreams
    were made of.
    You fought for space inside my head
    as I drove the Three Mile Bridge to the beach,
    with the balmy gulf breeze blowing in my unhearing ear,
    so that the wind was the feel,
    and you,
    the sound.

      1. JRSimmang

        If we are to assume art interprets life, and there is no end of life in all its cycles, then the interpretations are subsequently never ending. I do thirst for originality, and that is why I frequent these pages often.

  31. taylor graham


    That vestigial bone
    we never think about, tough but
    breakable as wicker knotted firmly at
    the bottom of the basket – how
    could it sing?
    And yet, plucked bare for wind to play
    through, it would sing –
    supplant all other melodies
    that move your mind, if only for
    this moment. What brought you to this
    moment? A whim
    to leave your well-worn life,
    lose yourself
    in jungle waterfall among the play
    of monkeys, unexpected
    neon-alive green iguana – a wish
    to hear music foreign
    to anything you’ve lived before.
    And listen,
    here you are making music
    of a broken basket,
    a bone, the hollow of your self
    that sky plays through.

  32. Walter J Wojtanik


    Do not think twice because it’s alright,
    Sad eyed lady standing in the rain;
    Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

    I’ve been gone far too long from your sight,
    Here with the Memphis blues again
    Do not think twice because it’s alright,

    I miss home, a hurricane still full of fight,
    Knock, knocking on heavens door, my friend,
    Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

    Stuck inside of Mobile, far from sight,
    A hard rain’s gonna fall, Zimmerman!
    Do not think twice because it’s alright.

    Brave men, lovesick and blue, too uptight,
    find the right to love just like a woman,
    Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

    Along the watchtower the question is right
    The answer is blowing in the wind
    Do not think twice because it’s alright,
    Lay lady, lay in your blue gown at night.

    © Walter J. Wojtanik

    **The poetic words of Bob Dylan written like Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

  33. Walter J Wojtanik


    The shade of blue
    made for the haunting lilt
    of the blues. Anguish lives
    within every note and nuance,
    a musical séance encrusted
    with so many rusted memories
    and the folly of melancholy dollies.
    Swirling the ice in my empty
    glass at the darkest corner table
    of this dingy hall, the music
    enthralls me all the same;
    it calls my name, but no answer
    is forthcoming. The burn of scotch is numbing
    my synapses, and when my memory
    finally lapses, I’ll be singing midnight!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik

  34. Piddleville

    Little Country Song

    It should have been in Florida,
    this wedding that went wrong;
    this wedding that resulted
    in this country song.
    The groom took off for Vegas;
    the bride, she went there too.
    They went with other lovers;
    left families in the pew.
    left this little country
    song I sing for you.

      1. tunesmiff

        And to paraphrase David Allen Coe (and with a nod to Steve Goodman), just add:
        • getting drunk
        • Mama
        • pick-up truck
        • prison
        (along with the dog and train…)

        Ye-haw, y’all…


  35. Walter J Wojtanik


    His melody lane is less traveled; it has been disheveled.
    The bridge on his guitar had shifted
    bending the notes wildly and leaving his rock
    quite unrolled. They called him “Birdman” because
    his riffs were flights of fancy,
    retreats into heaven on rather unstable wings.
    His “devil’s music” was more than they could bear
    but he didn’t care. He had fallen victim to its power,
    knowing full well that no man can be an island,
    but just put him in the middle of a meadow with his guitar,
    and the music would soar to fill the angels hearts.

    © Walter J. Wojtanik

  36. Walter J Wojtanik


    He writes a familiar tune,
    it sounds like something I’ve heard,
    but that’s absurd, I’ve never heard of this guy.

    I try to purge it from my head,
    but instead he haunts me, his Finnegan
    has begun again to resound.

    The sound is his, but is invasive,
    a case of “where have I heard this song?”
    It is wrong to think it; it sinks into my mind.

    I find his lyric poetic. It’s pathetic
    that this ‘no one special’ has found a combination
    that works. The jerk’s somewhat talented.

    I can’t refuse that this part moves me,
    its groove behooves me to tap and drum
    with fingers callused and numb.

    It’s jazzy! A snazzy riff and key,
    you’d think it was me who wrote it.
    I’d vote it a 97; a great beat, it’s easy to dance to!

    From what I hear, it is clear
    that poetry is his thing. It rings with passion,
    and is of a fashion that lends itself to song.

    I’ve sold records after all!
    I’ve gold records after all!
    But this small time wordsmith has a knack.

    I’ve broken my back to get to this place,
    and this overnight “sensation” had never left the station.
    And yet, his elation will be my damnation.

    The man writes a good tune.
    And he’s never rhymed moon with June or spoon…
    the women all swoon at his love songs.

    A pretty little ditty that stays with me.
    I can’t see past his intent. I think it was meant
    to distract me. It has only impacted me to follow his lead.

    For indeed, his music is in my mind.
    I could find a use for a snippet, or a lick – but the trick
    is making it sound new. And it is true.
    He writes a familiar tune.

    © Walter J Wojtanik

  37. PressOn


    When vowels and consonants mix and combine
    and the alphabet laughs while the words fall in line,
    then, sooner or later, some sentences dance
    until I, quite entranced, fix them fast in my mind.

    The words conjure mystery, facts, and romance
    and they take me from home to Peru or to France.
    My books can release sundry worlds undefined,
    and the words are my keyhole, awaiting my glance.

  38. PowerUnit

    Disco Inferno

    There was something about the Disco beat
    that lifted my heart
    up into my throat
    and made me want to choke
    and break vinyl with great
    Frisbee throws into heavy steel doors
    and watch the black shards
    explode like thunder
    and pool like rain


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